I pick my son into my arms and hold him up into the sky and say, "I will be a great writer someday, I will write beautiful things for you to read when you get older, and you will understand." This is hard because my son is 10 years old, and he is getting harder to lift. Everyday he seems to grow bigger whereas I feel weaker and weaker. But this is what a father is to do, he is to be strong and hold his son into the air, and tell him things are going to be all right, that someday that he too will understand. But truthfully I myself don't understand.
My father was big man and I always thought of him as the strongest man I knew. When he was home, I would always ask him to fix my bicycle even when my bicycle didn't need to be fixed. He would ask me why I had not tried to loosen the bolts myself, when the truth was I had already tighten them as hard as they would go just to see if he could loosen them. I was quite sure at the age of 10 my father was the strongest man in the neighborhood, and probably one of the only men in the neighborhood. My mother always spoke of my father as a softie on the inside, but never saw any of this until about two years later when she divorced him. It happened over the phone one night and heard the whole conversation from my bedroom.
-I just don't want to anymore, I am unhappy and you are never here
-Yes, I know you are out there making money for me and the kids, but I am not happy.
-No, there is nothing you can do, it is over.
-That is none of your business.
it was elegant, it was tragic
I remember sitting there in my bed, pretending I was my father, trying to imagine all the things he could say to make things better and wondered if he was saying the right things to make it better, if he was pleading with her for our sake, for my sake, for the Christ's sake. I wondered if he was yelling at her, striking back in anger… And I cursed my mom and punched the walls, and cried and cried until it just felt sort of natural to sit there and cry… I just cried until my nose and mouth became a sort of snot machine suffocating me to sleep.
After that my dad was soft and I could see into his chest as if it was a window, and killed me to see him this way. His feelings were like crab brains as if he swallowed a drill bit and let it go to work on his insides. A crab with big strong arms, a crustacean, with a hard protective shell that had been cracked open and half-eaten…
The feelings I had then are pretty much the same feelings I have now going through my own divorce, except I forgot how to cry, I can't even remember the last time I did, yet I feel like I need to, like there is some sort of pressure valve in my chest that needs to be released. I feel like somebody big is standing on my chest making it so hard to breathe… like there is a stone, a giant stone pinning me down to the ocean floor, a feeling of utter hopelessness, which would help explain the dreams.
pick it up. no fingerprints, no proper names.
In my dream my face falls off. There is a car wreck and I am hurled 30 yards through the air and aware of what is happening. There is the street below me moving at an incredible velocity and my face is coming down to it, and there is nothing I can do. My angle is dangerous like a space shuttle decent and I don't care, I don't care at all. I sort of want it to happen and it does. Very graphically in my mind, my own face is ripped off. From forehead to chin, nose and all… my eye balls fall out, but the worse is when my bottom jaw digs into the concrete and I can feel teeth grinding away like chalk on a board, like a human crayon.
I wake up in the morning, and look in the mirror and my hair turns white like snow. At first I am in denial, -maybe this is normal, I think, until later in the dream my hair begins to turn into a somewhat see through like oriental noodle, as if my head was spaghetti that had been partially boiled, and then just when it couldn't get any worse everything about me begins to decompose, my teeth are begin to fall out systematically, and my ears, and fingers and arms drop like rotten apples. I notice time for the first time, and time is of the essence. Soon I will be a blob, a sac of guts, nothing at all but a thought.
There are worms inside of me and at first it think of them as tape worms. I keep inspecting my shit, and finding them, the only thing is, and there is always more and more, until I am shitting out nothing but worms. Soon I am opening my mouth, and worms begin to pour out like rice, like a medusa head. And I have nothing nice to say, which only makes things worse.
I am sliding backwards in a car down some great big hill. The road I am on is actually a dirt road, which might help to explain things. I notice the vehicle is picking up speed, so I apply the brakes, which do nothing. Then start the engine, and give it a little gas, but I am still sliding backwards as the tires just spin. I am not only sliding, but I am gaining in velocity… there is nothing I can do but wait for impact.
I am somehow space, I am the stars, I am scattered like marbles through out the universe and am being pulled in a million different directions, constantly getting further and further away. But what is I am getting away from. In my dream it is a straight line, I bright straight line that I don't understand, it is so far away in the distance of space, like an unreachable horizon, yet so perfect, so unbending cutting through everything with determination…
unemployed war heroes
Some times when I wake up I think about rolling over and writing these dreams down. But mostly they are too fragmented to look any good on paper, but yet I know what they mean and I know what I am, I know where I came from. This is my life right now, I am all of these things, I am crab brains and drill bits, a body that is falling apart, rotten on the inside, stained and scarred. I am the stars so far away never coming back… and I need something to hold onto, one thing, a bright strong line, just throw it to me in the water before I drown. That is it, I know what the line is, it is to write, I will write for my father, my son and Holy Ghost, why not? And I will make it beautiful, you shall see.
children of a revolution, freezing in their clothes
As I pick my son up and hold him into the sky because this is what a father is supposed to do…